A $115,000 funding boost from the NSW Government aims to lead to 11 million coffee cups being converted into bench seats, kerbing and car parking stoppers through an expanded Simply Cups recycling program.
Closed Loop Environmental Solutions piloted its Simply Cups program in the Australian market in 2016.
Since then, coffee giants 7-Eleven as well as commercial sites and caterers from Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong have partnered with the company to tackle the near one billion coffee cups consumed each year with a significant proportion of the largely unrecyclable materials going to landfill.
NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the “high visibility” coffee cup issue is something her government is working to resolve.
“The more coffee cups we recycle, the less that are littered – and that’s a good thing for everyone,” Ms Upton said.
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“The next time your car hits a bump stop in a car park, you may well be ‘using’ recycled coffee cups.
“Making useful products from waste or recyclable materials is one of the ways NSW is working to be ahead of the game in its response to China’s National Sword policy, which has effectively closed the Chinese market to Australia’s recyclable waste.”
While the Simply Cups program aims to divert 110 tonnes of coffee cups from landfill within a year, they are a small part of the Circulate grant program that has seen $407 million given to 1160 recycling projects from plastic milk bottles to mushroom biotechnologies.
“The Simply Cups program is one of several projects to benefit from the more than $510,000 awarded in this year’s Circulate grant program,” Ms Upton said.
Circulate grants are made through the $802 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.
Simply Cups programs are also operating in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.